First published on veryimportantwatches.com
Constantin Stikas: We are going through an era of large-scale global transformations. Do you believe that we must slow down or speed up?
Jean-Claude Biver: We must slow down the time intervals between the crises engendered by capitalist society and we must speed up when it comes to the ethos and moral integrity of the behaviour of rulers and citizens.
CS: The Key of Time is the only watch in the world with which we can select the speed of the passage of time! Can a revolution in watchmaking have philosophical connotations?
JCB: The philosophical or cultural dimension is, at the end of the day, of fundamental significance in Art. And if we wish to elevate watchmaking to the level of Art, there is no better path.
CS: You are known as someone who acts fast. In what way is speed important in business?
JCB: Speed is the most important ingredient in life. One second too much or too little could mean death. And what holds true for people evidently also holds true for their working life or their achievements. I ceaselessly assert and preach that speed is one of the most important ingredients on the path to success.
CS: However, you are someone who loves Swiss tradition and who shares the values that are often linked with the slow passage of time. It takes time to make good-quality wine, sometimes one must wait to taste it, in the same way that it takes time to make a good cheese etc. However, the CERN is also located in Switzerland and today we witness watchmaking breaking high frequency records on a daily basis. What do you think about this?
JCB: There is not just one single speed or one single time in life. The art of managing it is being able to adapt and manage each time and each of its speeds.
CS: Give us a domain where speed is important and another where it is best to be slow.
JCB: A great problem necessitates a simple solution, but time is necessary for finding this simple solution. Discovering simplicity is a process that only takes place afterwards. It is, finally, the fruit of time and wisdom. In promotion or sponsoring, by contrast, good ideas are rare and when we find one, one must know how to swiftly appropriate it, because frequently everyone is having the same ideas at the same time.
CS: For a very long time in the domain of high frequency, there was only the El Primero. Today, we see TAG Heuer attaining unimaginable records. These two Houses form part of the LVMH Group, like Hublot. What do you think of this?
JCB: It is a sign of the wisdom of the LVMH Group to allow each of its brands independence and their own autonomy. The two brands adopt a different approach, something which renders them nearly complementary.
CS: The high frequency domain will one day provide the backdrop for Hublot to demonstrate its technical capacity?
JCB: Why not? There are no postulates and no limitations either…
CS: You have forged partnerships with the swiftest man in the world, Usain Bolt and with the automobile brand that has been the symbol of high speed for decades, Ferrari. Is Hublot a House that loves speed?
JCB: Hublot likes to be First, Different and Unique. In order to attain this, one must be fast!...
CS: What is your personal relationship to speed?
JCB: I like the varying speeds of life and of the seasons. They are what endow it with its charm and rich diversity. How monotonous it would have been, if we just had a single speed…